Updated: Jan 2
Panaji, Dec 1: Adam Le Fondre scored a brace as Mumbai City FC beat SC East Bengal 3-0 in the Hero Indian Super League at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Tuesday.
Le Fondre found the back of the net in the 20th and 48th minute with Hernan Santana netting the third in the 58th minute.
The red-and-gold brigade were dealt with a body blow in the early exchanges when centre-back Danny Fox picked up a knock and had to leave the field in the seventh minute. Midfielder Md Rafique replaced him.
Soon after, goalkeeper Debjit Majumder pulled off a stunning save to deny Hugo Boumous in the ninth minute.
Jacques Maghoma then outmuscled his marker to try his luck from range but Amrinder Singh dived low to make a save.
Rafique forced Amrinder into another save minutes later as he dashed forward and tried to bulge the right corner.
On the counter, the hosts broke the deadlock in the 20th minute. Rowllin Borges sprayed a delectable through ball to free Boumous who went past Surchandra Singh and set up Adam Le Fondre for the latter to slot the ball into an empty net.
Chances were few and far between since the goal as Mumbai City FC went into the break with a slender 1-0 lead.
Soon after the restart, Le Fondre doubled his side's advantage as he scored from the spot after Boumous was brought down inside the box by Debjit.
Hernan Santana made it 3-0 for Mumbai City FC in the 58th minute as the visitors dearly missed Fox at the heart of the defense. In search of a goal, SC East Bengal head coach and Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler replaced Balwant with Jeje Lalpekhlua in the 67th minute.
SC East Bengal threw the kitchen sink at Mumbai City FC in the dying minutes of the game but at full time, it ended 3-0 in the hosts' favour.
SC East Bengal will take on NorthEast United FC next on Saturday at the Tilak Maidan Stadium.